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Work underway to make changes in the blasphemy law says PM’s Special Assistant on Human Rights


Blasphemy law in Pakistan

Religious minorities can afford a sigh of relief as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Human Rights reveals that work on making necessary changes in the blasphemy law is underway.

News is that, Barrister Zafarullah Khan who is a Minister of State and also serving as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Human Rights, has revealed that the government is geared up to talk with “all stakeholders and start a dialogue about the blasphemy law.”

While remaking about the process, he said that the essential work required to make amendments in the blasphemy law was underway. He further said that a draft bill had already been forwarded to the Interior Ministry, while if it is considered necessary this matter might be taken up at the Council of Common Interests.

Barrister Zafarullah further revealed that the new draft bill contains prescription of “punishment” for those who file false fabricated First Information Reports (FIRs) of blasphemy accusations along with those who try to execute extra-judicial punishment for those accused of committing blasphemy. However, he said that there lies a need for proper implementation of the blasphemy law.

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Moreover, Zahid Hamid – Federal Minister for Human Rights said that the government has always wanted to resolve the issue related to the blasphemy law through talks and consultations.

Barrister Zafarullah recounted the case of a friend of Justice (Retd.) Raza Khan-Secretary Law, who had been hooked over blasphemy charges. He said that the respondent advised Justice Raza Khan that the person accused of blasphemy should not be allowed to come out of jail, because there are threats to his life and he might be killed by the religious extremists.